SFD readies for annual Field Days

For more than 100 years, Skaneateles' firefighters have invited the community to come out and celebrate the end of summer.

The annual Skaneateles Volunteer Fire Department Field Days has traditionally taken place on Sunday and Monday over Labor Day weekend. This year, for the first time in its history, the events will take place Saturday Sept. 5 and Sunday Sept. 6.

"The participation has really dropped off on Monday," said Jim Buff, former chairman of the event and veteran firefighter. "A lot of people come in from out of town and have to leave."

Not only do people come from all around for the events, many come home for class reunions but have to head back out of Skaneateles in order to prepare for work on Tuesday.

The changing of the dates wasn't a snap decision, said first-year Chairman Eric Sell.

"We've been talking about it probably for a couple of years now, " he said, adding that the committee decided to give it a go this year.

The date change also works well with the 2009-10 school year start as classes begin a day early this year -- Tuesday Sept. 8.

According to Buff, the other big change to this year's Field Days is the parade. Instead of starting at 1 p.m., eager onlookers can plan for a 4 p.m. start.

"We're trying to make that day a family day," Buff said.

After the parade, families are encouraged to stick around and see what else is happening before finding a spot in the fields at Austin Park to watch the fireworks.

So what else is happening at the field days? Aside from the traditional Sink the Boat and Pushball events, new this year will be the Bucket Brigade, which is open to anyone who wants to participate.

"We were just looking for something for the community to get involved with," Sell said.

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